P&G licenses polypropylene recycling technology

PureCycle Technologies, in partnership with consumer goods company P&G, headquartered in Cincinnati, began construction on a plant in Lawrence County, Ohio, that is designed to recycle polypropylene (PP) plastic to “virgin-like” quality.

The patented technology employed at the facility was developed in P&G labs. P&G licensed the technology to PureCycle, a portfolio company of Chicago-based Innventure, a Wasson Enterprise Partnership, also based in Chicago, that “commercializes disruptive technologies.”

Founded in 2015, PureCycle’s small-scale plant in Lawrence County will test and calibrate the PP recycling process. The plant will begin operating in January 2018, according to a news release issued by PureCycle, and the full-scale plant will open in 2020. It will sell its recycled PP on the open market.

“This is a case where a hundred-billion-dollar industry required new technology to meet a compelling, unmet need,” says Mike Otworth, CEO of PureCycle Technologies.

PP is used in automobile interiors, food and beverage packaging, consumer good packaging, electronics, construction materials, home furnishings and many other products.

“Our approach to innovation not only includes products and packaging but [also] technologies that allow us and others to have a positive impact on our environment,” says Kathy Fish, P&G chief technology officer. “This technology, which can remove virtually all contaminants and colors from used plastic, has the capacity to revolutionize the plastics recycling industry by enabling P&G and companies around the world to tap into sources of recycled plastics that deliver nearly identical performance and properties as virgin materials in a broad range of applications.”

Steve Alexander, CEO of the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR), Washington, says that organization “has identified 1 billion pounds of recycled PP demand in North America alone; 720 million pounds of that demand is for ‘high-quality’ recycled PP.”

P&G says the technology demonstrates its commitment to sustainability and helps achieve its 2020 recycling goals, which include doubling its use of recycled resin in plastic packaging.

Closed Loop Fund invests in plastics recyclers

The Closed Loop Fund says it will provide funding to assist plastics recyclers IntegriCo Composites Inc. and GreenMantra Technologies.

Sarepta, Louisiana-based IntegriCo Composites Inc., a leader in the composite industrial products manufacturing industry, has entered into a strategic partnership with Closed Loop Fund, New York, to fund comprehensive recycling infrastructure and to expand its strategic sourcing programs for recovered plastics.

Founded in 2007, IntegriCo manufactures composite railway products, including railway crossties and composite grade crossings. Using patented manufacturing technology, IntegriCo produces its products from 100 percent recycled plastics and has diverted more than 70 million pounds of plastics since its founding. Current IntegriCo clients include Union Pacific, the U.S. military through a multiyear contract with Rock Island Arsenal and continuing international shipments to support the infrastructure of Germany and Russia.

Closed Loop Fund Managing Partner Rob Kaplan says, “IntegriCo is turning what used to be a low-value bale of mixed plastics into a higher value infrastructure product, thereby improving the value of the recycling mix and ensuring that hard-to-recycle plastics don’t end up in the landfill or in waterways. We see this investment as helping unlock an important economic bottleneck in the recycling system.”

Scott Mack, IntegriCo CEO, says, “The confidence in IntegriCo as displayed by Closed Loop Fund’s investment will enable IntegriCo to complete its second manufacturing line in Sarepta prior to the end of 2017, resulting in capacity of 250,000 rail crossties annually while consuming in excess of 65 million pounds of recycled plastics,” Mack continues. “This expansion will also permit the continued production of new products, including longer length rail ties and a recently redesigned composite grade crossing system. This is an important step with a great partner to continue execution of IntegriCo’s strategy to produce at least 1 million rail ties annually by the year 2020.”

The Closed Loop Fund will invest $3 million to assist GreenMantra Technologies, which produces polymer products from plastic scrap, in the expansion of its manufacturing operations in Brantford, Ontario.

The investment will enable GreenMantra to expand the capacity of its plant, which converts postconsumer and industrial scrap plastics, including films and bags, into high-value waxes, according to the company. These polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) waxes, marketed under the Ceranovus brand, are used in various industrial applications, including asphalt paving and roofing, plastics processing, adhesives and coatings.

The expansion will increase the plant’s annual capacity of 5,000 metric tons by an additional 2,500 metric tons. GreenMantra says it will help it to meet growing demand for its polymer products, as well as increase the diversion of scrap plastics from disposal.

The Closed Loop Fund joins existing GreenMantra investors ArcTern Ventures and Cycle Capital Management in supporting the continued growth of the company.

Construction of the plant expansion is anticipated to begin later this year, with startup of the new capacity slated for third quarter 2018.

“We are pleased with Closed Loop Fund’s investment in our technology and their belief in our proven business model,” says GreenMantra President and CEO Kousay Said. “We are taking plastic waste that is destined for the landfill and cost-effectively transforming it into materials that add significant value to our customers’ products and processes. This investment will enable us to continue our rapid growth and provides additional credibility for our efforts,” he adds.

Closed Loop Fund is a $100 million social impact fund that says it is working to increase the recycling of products and packaging. Its investors are some of the world’s leading retail and consumer goods companies, including 3M, Coca Cola, Colgate Palmolive, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Keurig Green Mountain, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle Waters North America, PepsiCo Inc., Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Walmart Foundation.